New York Yankees: Walter Johnson

Halladay: King of the Yankee-killers

June, 14, 2010
To say that Roy Halladay owns the Yankees is an understatement. To say that Halladay dominates the Yankees is a disservice as well. Even referring to him as a Yankee-killer, as old-timers do with a pitcher like Frank Lary, doesn't necessarily convey his skill.

It's hard to describe just how good Halladay has been in his career against the Yankees, but let's come up with five ways in which we can try, prior to his start against them Tuesday night.

1. Let's start with the most basic piece of information: wins and losses. Halladay is 18-6 all-time against the Yankees, good for a .750 winning percentage against them.

Only two pitchers who have more than 20 decisions against the Yankees have better win-loss records: You've heard of the all-time leader, Babe Ruth (17-5, .773). No. 2 is early 20th-century Hall of Famer Addie Joss (28-9, .757).

2. Wins and losses rarely tell the whole story. Let's go one step further. Halladay's career ERA against the Yankees is 2.84. Let's look strictly at this time period -- the wild-card era (since 1994) -- before venturing further.

Halladay's 2.84 is not just the best among the 19 pitchers who have thrown 100 innings. It's the best by an overwhelming margin. Here are the only pitchers among that group with ERAs under 4.00.

Halladay, 2.84; Pedro Martinez, 3.20; David Wells, 3.47. The other 16 pitchers all have ERAs over 4.

3. Let's broaden the scope to cover all time periods, which we can do, thanks to the Elias Sports Bureau. Rob Tracy at Elias looked at pitchers' ERAs against the Yankees and compared them to the ERAs of other pitchers of the time specifically against the Yankees.

Halladay stacks up about as well as can be historically. In the time in which he pitched, the average pitcher had an ERA against the Yankees of 5.15. He's nearly 81 percent better than the average pitcher (giving him an ERA+ of 181). And look who Halladay ranks ahead of historically (among those with 200 innings against the Yankees) -- only the guy many consider the best pitcher ever, Walter Johnson.

The only pitcher listed who is better: Hoyt Wilhelm, made only 13 starts. The knuckleball specialist dominated the Yankees primarily from the bullpen.

4. Halladay has seven complete games in 35 starts against the Yankees. No other pitcher in the wild-card era has more than four. In fact, to find another pitcher with seven complete games against the Yankees, you have to stretch the span back to measure from 1987 to 2010.

If you do that, Roger Clemens has seven as well. But his mark against the Yankees in that span pales in comparison, 16-12 with a 3.70 ERA.

For those who say it's easy for Halladay to rack up that many complete games given the number of starts he's made, consider this: Halladay has completed seven of 35 starts, which equates to 20 percent.

Of the 72 pitchers to have made at least 10 starts against the Yankees since 1994, only a dozen have multiple complete games against the Yankees. And of those 12, only Chris Carpenter has completed 20 percent of his starts against the Yankees (two out of 10)

For the record, Tom Candiotti, Omar Olivares, Steve Ontiveros and Todd Stottlemyre all have had two complete games in fewer than 10 starts against the Yankees within this time period. None dominated the Yankees though. The lowest ERA from that group is Ontiveros's 3.48.

5. Let's close by looking at the performance of the Yankees' captain against Halladay.

Derek Jeter career: .242 BA, no home runs, 100 plate appearances.

There is a group of 16 pitchers with which Jeter is most familiar, having faced them 50 times or more. He shreds most of those on the list, with a couple of exceptions.

Within that group, there's no one he dreads more than Halladay. Jeter's .296 on-base percentage against Halladay is his worst against anyone in that group by 21 points. And his .582 OPS is 65 points worse than against any other.

So if he's good enough to embarrass Jeter, that (and our other four points) should be enough to declare him among the best Yankee-killers there is.

Mark Simon is a researcher for Baseball Tonight. Follow him on Twitter at @msimonespn or e-mail him at



Masahiro Tanaka
13 2.77 141 136
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146